Bethany Maines drinks from an arsenic mug


Alekos Now Available!

Whew!  I’ve made it to summer and the final (for now) book of my Rejects Pack trilogy.  Alekos wraps up the storyline started in the books 1 and 2 (Hudson & Killian) in what I hope is a satisfactory conclusion.  Hint: I’m trying to tell you there’s a Happily Ever After without giving away any spoilers.


This series tested my creativity in quite a few ways.  I actually started Alekos first and then went back and wrote the first two installments.  This created a challenge in that the first two books were therefore more honed in to their themes and where they had to end up in order for book three to make sense. But that also meant that I had to a fair bit of editing on Alekos in order to make all the little plot jigsaw pieces line up.

I also started it during the pandemic and then was faced with the decision to include or not include the pandemic in the text. I ended up choosing to include it but with only light mentions rather than as a plot point.  One of the most curious things about the 1918 Influenza epidemic is that it seemed virtually unmentioned in fiction of the time.  It was certainly influential as a theme, but most of us haven’t ever read a story that features masks or other remnants of that outbreak.  When that was first pointed out, I couldn’t understand why.  It seems notable and worth a short story or two to try and capture the moment.  I did write one Covid piece of short fiction based on the drag races that sprang up during the lock downs (Fireball Rolled a Seven – Crimecucopia Funny Ha Ha edition), but writers have seen very sharp opinions from readers about mentioning the pandemic in novels mostly they don’t like it.  Reading is for escape and bringing Covid back into the escapist fantasy isn’t always wanted.  However, it was one of the hurdles my heroine had to overcome, so I left it in without dwelling on it. Hopefully, readers now have had enough distance that seeing a mention of a mask in fiction won’t send them scurrying for the door.

What to Expect

But I think I rose to meet the challenges of crafting a Indiana Jones / The Mummy inspired series that gives magical new worlds, globe trotting adventures, and mythological beings, archaeological mysteries, and one very pissed off ancient Egyptian mummy(ish) person. And I can’t wait for readers to be able to share the complete (for now) adventures of the Rejects Pack.

Pre-Order / Buy Now:

Learn more:

About Alekos:

Alpha wolf, Alexander Ash has forged a family dedicated to finding a cure for the magical wasteland that has stretched across Greece since the devastating Night of 1000 deaths. But on the brink of finally being able to right the wrongs fate has dealt, Alex meets translator Eliandra Smith and finds himself called to her in a way he can’t explain. But as Lia is swept into Alex’s world of mystical beings, magic, and deadly ancient wars, they soon discover that she is tied more closely to his past that she could have imagined. And Alex discovers she might also be the one thing that can kill them all.


Bethany Maines is the award-winning indie and traditionally published author of romantic action-adventure and fantasy novels that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind-end. She can usually found chasing after her daughter or glued to the computer working on her next novel or screenplay.

A Gathering in Charleston, South Carolina

by Paula Gail Benson

82 Queen

This year, I had been regretting my inability to attend any writing conferences. Being among writers and readers always helps to inspire and bring new ideas into focus. Not to mention, adding to my “to be read” list.

A few months ago, I heard from a dear friend to so many of us, Dru Ann Love, that she would be coming to Charleston, South Carolina, to tour the city with friends. Could some of us who lived nearby join them for lunch one day?

My work schedule kept changing, so I wasn’t certain until the last minute that I could join the group. I asked my friend Sue Husman, a retired librarian and voracious reader, if she would ride with me from Columbia to Charleston.

For lunch, we had a reservation at 82 Queen, described on its website as “a uniquely ‘Charleston’ dining experience” in “three buildings and a garden courtyard nestled in the Historic French Quarter.” I had not been there in decades, but I knew it would be delightful and memorable.

As we left the Municipal Garage, we ran into Jackie Layton, who writes “cozy mysteries with Spunky Southern Sleuths,” including the Low Country Dog Walker and the new Texas Flower Farmer Cozy Mysteries, which will debut in July. I was impressed to learn that Jackie combines writing with being a part-time pharmacist. She lives in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and her website is Sue, Jackie, and I took a few minutes to peruse Buxton Books on King Street before heading to 82 Queen.

We dined upstairs in a room wallpapered with images of green parrots. Dru Ann was our most gracious host, introducing us to her friends, Yifat Cestare from New York and Marla Husovsky from California. Since meeting, they had traveled to join each other at several destinations for exploration, food, and fun. Yifat explained the number one requirement was laughing a lot. We were glad to comply.

My lunch: tomato pie and salad. YUM.

Dru Ann made sure we knew about each of the authors. Tina Whittle and Nora McFarland had traveled from Savannah, Georgia.

In addition to short fiction, Tina Whittle writes the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver mysteries that feature gunshop owner Tai and corporate security agent Trey. She reads tarot and enjoys boxing, sushi, and mini pilgrimages. Her website is

Nora McFarland has an MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and has worked in national (CNN) and local news. Her protagonist is Lily Hawkins, a TV News photographer who lives and sleuths in Bakersfield, California. Nora’s website is

Pralines and Cream Ice Cream for Dessert!

Dorothy McFalls and I always joke that we only meet when traveling to writing conventions. We have both been members of the Lowcountry Romance Writers (chapter of RWA), based in Charleston. Dorothy’s a Charleston resident who writes romance and mysteries. She has two websites: and Her mysteries include the White House Gardener, the Southern Chocolate Shop, and the Beloved Bookroom series.

Everyone was very supportive of my short stories, including “Crossfire in the Crosshairs” available in eBook A Death in the Night to be released in August by Dragon Soul Press. You can pre-order here.

Dru Ann had her own happy news that was announced at Malice Domestic. She and Kristopher Zgorski have collaborated to write a short story for a Beatles related anthology that will be edited by Josh Pachter. We are all very excited to read their work. Meanwhile, we’ll be following Dru Ann’s reading adventures at

The group with something above!

We had a fabulous time, enjoying great food and conversation. One of the topics was about staying in haunted places. I noticed in the photo our server took that a shiny figure seems to float above us. Some might call it a reflection from the light fixture, but I wonder!

Many thanks to everyone involved in this wonderful day. Dru Ann, Yifat, and Marla, don’t you think you could make Charleston an annual destination?


Hudson is Released into the Wild!

It’s release day for Hudson, book 1 of the Rejects Pack.  This archaeological thriller / paranormal romance melds all the booby trapped tomb adventures of Indiana Jones with some shifter wolves, flirtatious banter and tosses in some evil warlocks and a mysterious mummy for good measure.  So in some ways today is the day that I find out if everyone else finds that as fun as I do.

What Readers Are Saying

Part of book marketing is to send “Advance Reader Copies” or ARCs to individuals who will read and review a book–hopefully early, and hopefully with something quotable.  When I first got into publishing I had no idea what an ARC was and spent weeks scratching my head until someone actually used the entire phrase. Fortunately, for Hudson, the advance reviews are looking quite positive. I can only hope that they continue on the same trend. All of the Rejects Pack boys have been fun to write and I’m even thinking about keeping the series going, so I hope that it’s well-received.

The Inspiration for Hudson

In case you haven’t guessed, I like action-movies and sparky couples who serve up quips and flirt their way through dangerous escapes. And for the Rejects Pack series I definitely set out to write a series with those kind of main characters.  So, if you like action-packed romances, angry Egyptologists, shifter wolves, and ancient booby-trapped tombs, then you will also love Hudson, book 1 of the Rejects Pack.

Learn More or Buy Now:

Hudson on Amazon:

Enter to Win a Print Edition of Hudson:

Watch the Promo Video:


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of action-adventure and fantasy tales that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind end. She participates in many activities including swearing, karate, art, and yelling at the news. She can usually be found chasing after her daughter, or glued to the computer working on her next novel (or screenplay). You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Rejects Pack Trilogy

by Bethany Maines


So last year I swore I wasn’t going to do another “quick” release of a trilogy because that was just too much work.  The Supernatural world of the 3 Colors Trilogy was so much fun, but was I ever tired by the time A Brighter Yellow came out.  I thought that I would revisit that world, but I thought maybe I’d take a breather.

Side note: quick is in quotes because some people think quick is a book a week. To misquote Sonny and Cher – that ain’t me, babe. One a month is plenty fast.


Well, apparently delivering books is like delivering babies.  They’re just so dang cute that you want another one and the mind blocks out the pain.  So, this summer I will be bringing you the Rejects Pack. The inspiration for the series was really that I watched too much Indiana Jones and The Mummy and thought… There should be werewolves in this. I love that light-hearted banter, the sweet romance, and heroes who swash and or buckle even if they’re not in full pirate mode.

The Rejects Pack Trilogy focuses on a pack of wolves (and one human) who have been rejected by their birthpacks, only to be welcomed by Alexander “Alekos” Ash in the magical wasteland of Greece. Alekos is searching for vindication–attempting to prove that his brother wasn’t responsible for the Night of 1000 Deaths that stripped Greece of magic during WWII.  And it finally seems like that goal is within his reach.

Hudson (book 1) – May 10

Hudson is a shifter wolf with a YouTube channel focused on hand-forging period accurate weaponry and he falls headlong into love, adventure, and a mysterious tomb with Yazmin Hunter-Blake, an Egyptology student looking for a treasure trove of Egyptian artifacts.

Killian (book 2) – June 14

Killian is shifter wolf on a mission to the long lost Library of Alexandria to bring back the spells to create a werewolf and save his human packmate, but amnesia, a beautiful she-wolf named Moira DeSandre and a horde of warlocks are all causing some problems.

Alekos (book 3) – July 19

Alpha wolf Alekos has been looking for the mystical cause of the Night of 1000 Deaths that stripped magic from Greece and killed his brother, but fate is about to bring him face to face with his brother’s murderer, an ancient magic, and Eliandra Smith, the human who might be his fated mate.

Stay tuned for additional fun things like Goodreads Print Editions Giveaways and E-book Edition Giveaways!

Pre-Order Here:

Add to your Goodreads List:

Enter to Win a Print Edition of Hudson:

Watch the Trailer:


Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of action-adventure and fantasy tales that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind end. She can usually be found chasing after her daughter, or glued to the computer working on her next novel (or screenplay). You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.

Valentines, Shmalentines

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email that opened with this: “Not interested in Valentine’s content?” It continued, very sympathetically: We understand this time can be tough. If you would prefer not to receive Valentine’s Day emails this year, you can opt out by simply clicking below. With love, your Etsy friends.

The whole thing made me wonder. Are American consumers so delicate that we can’t deal with Valentine’s Day if we’re without a valentine of our own? Will retailers now follow suit and spare people who are sadly bereft of a mother from the onslaught of Mother’s Day marketing? Or offer non-holiday shoppers relief from the five months-long Christmas advertising blitz?

Valentine’s Day has murky origins. Apparently, there were three different men named Valentine who achieved sainthood. Their individual stories differ, and are not particularly romantic. However, regarding the celebration of love on February 14, there’s this: In the Middle Ages in England and France, that date was commonly believed to be the start of mating season for birds, and thus, a day for romance. Somewhere along the way, those sexy Greek and Roman gods, Eros and Cupid, added their classical spice to the mix.

The oldest known valentine still in existence is a poem written in 1415. I haven’t been able to find the original text, so it may or may or may have gone something like this: Roses are red, violets are blue, thou hast the face of an olde cockatoo.

Times have changed, and romantic love has taken a beating in the past few decades. While I understand the yearning for a knight in shining armor who gallops across the moat carrying a dozen perfect red roses and a two pound box of Godiva, most princesses have moved on toward the notion that true love comes in different flavors, and doesn’t always arrive in the form of a macho man on his high horse.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

More and more women are celebrating Galentine’s Day. Marketers have picked up on the vibe, offering “Cupid is Stupid” specials at taverns, restaurants, and entertainment halls. At least one establishment in town advertises a special axe-throwing night for women only. Makes me wonder what shape or form the axe’s target resembles. Also turns my imagination toward a great plot idea for a Rom-Com Crime story.

This year, the Houston Museum of Natural Science invited its members to contemplate the mutual attraction of our Earth and Moon (above). They also encouraged those of us among the Valentine- or Galentine-perplexed to “Take a Bite out of Love” by giving our special someone this: a cockroach that can be cherished, or squished like a bug, according to your heart’s desire.

Houston Museum of Natural Science

Valentine’s and Galentine’s Days have another sibling. It’s called Palentine’s Day and it gives us all a chance to tell our best buddies that we love and appreciate them. I like this choice the best.

So today, I wish everyone—my readers, friends, family, and colleagues alike—a very Happy Palentine’s Day!

What’s your favorite thing to do on February 14th?

Gay Yellen is the award-winning author of the Samantha Newman Mystery Series, including The Body Business, The Body Next Door, and the upcoming Body in the News!


A New Anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers of America: Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two

by Paula Gail Benson

When I first became serious about writing, I joined a chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Lowcountry Romance Writers (LRWA), based in Charleston, S.C. A friend from Columbia and I would travel back and forth on highway I-26E every month (about a 90-minute journey each way) to hear wonderful presentations about craft and marketing as well as to meet other writers and learn about their projects and goals.

My concentration has always been more on mystery and suspense fiction, but for a while the LRWA was the only local active group that provided contacts and insight on the publication industry. I learned a great deal and was very appreciative of the information I received.

A few years ago, I thought about discontinuing my LRWA membership because I had joined several Sisters in Crime chapters and had become involved with the Mystery Writers of America and its regional Southeast chapter (SEMWA). Then, LRWA offered its members the opportunity to have their short stories published in a chapter anthology. I had been writing short stories and felt like I would like to try my hand at romance, so I continued to belong to the chapter. To be accepted for the anthology, each story had to take place during the winter holidays (Thanksgiving to New Years), take place in Charleston, go through two vigorous beta readings, and meet deadlines. In addition, each author had to develop promos to be used in social media. (I have always been impressed that romance writers know how to effectively sell their fiction!) The whole process was like boot camp and it was tremendously successful. Love in the Lowcountry gave both experienced and new writers a chance for publication and the sales made money for the chapter. I felt it a true privilege to be part of the work.

This year, the chapter decided to develop Love in the Lowcountry, Volume Two. Like the first volume, it included established writers along with debut authors. It expanded the holiday season (from Halloween to Valentine’s Day) and the territory (anywhere in South Carolina). The eleven included romances feature contemporary and historical settings; time travel, magical realism, and paranormal elements; sweet to spicy storylines; and LGBTQ+ characters.

Here’s a brief summary of each story:

“A Sunrise Christmas” by Linda Joyce – In others, Lauren “sees” their heart’s desire, but Justice hopes he can open her eyes to love.

“Candlemas” by Paula Gail Benson – Can they find their way through time, and to love?

“Chase” by Suzie Webster – A Lowcountry Liaisons Short Story – He thought love wasn’t in the cards, but a second chance may change his luck.

“Edi-Snow!” by HM Thomas – After the storm, the snow won’t be the only thing melting.

“Let Me Call You Sweetheart” by J. Lynn Rowan – One disappointed in romance. The other hiding from life. A chance encounter makes them wonder – could this be true love?

“Maeve’s Welcome Home” by Addie Bealer – Friends. Lovers. Business rivals. Can they have it all?

“No Regrets” by Robin Hillyer-Miles – Neither planned to be single and sixty but a cute meet and an intense attraction could change all that.

“Second Chances” by Victoria Houseman – Second chances are often the best chances when it comes to love.

“The One That I Want” by Elaine Reed – Charleston welcomed her with open arms, but she longs for a different embrace.

“Watchman’s Remedy” by Victoria Benson – Struggling to understand her reality, Cora falls…for an 18th century pirate.

“When It’s Meant to Be” by Danielle Gadow – Relationships evolve, but how will they know “When It’s Meant to Be”?

By purchasing Love in the Lowcountry, Volume 2, you’ll be helping to support LRWA, which in turn will continue to offer authors programs to improve their craft and marketing skills. Please give it your consideration.

NaNoWriMo 2022

Let’s All NaNoWriMo… or Not

by Bethany “NaNoWriMo” Maines

NaNoWriMo Wha?

I don’t really believe in NaNoWriMo AKA National Novel Writing Month.  Partially just because I object strenuously to the clunky abbreviation.  But also because the goal of writing fifty thousand words in a month reduces novel writing to a very basic component—words. Writing fifty-thousand words is an accomplishment of a sort, but having the right fifty-thousand requires a bit more of a skill.  However, the NaNoWriMo community supplies great camaraderie and inspiration to a multitude of writers, and if an artificial deadline and contest get some people to put fingers to keyboard then I raise my glass in cheers.  And usually that’s it.

Soooo why am I doing this?

This year the fates have conspired to arrange my projects to have a novel that needs to be written this month.  I would really like to put out the next trilogy in my Supernatural paranormal romance world next summer.  The Rejects Pack is a fun, Indiana Jones / The Mummy inspired series featuring more wolves, warlocks, romance, and an ancient Egyptian artifact or two.  Also maybe a mummy that comes back from the dead.  (Shhh.  Don’t tell anyone.)  And with Book 1 out to my beta readers already, you would think I wouldn’t feel the need to rush book 2 and 3.  Butttt…. I keep eyeballing the amount of plot I’m intending to shove into book 3 and I’m just a little bit worried that my trilogy is going to become a tetralogy.

Tetralogy means a four book series. In case you don’t want to have to google it like I did.

And then…

And then there’s the fact the holidays are almost here (YAY!!!) and I have a new novella coming out this month!  I’m busy is what I’m saying.  So I’m trying to hedge my bets and leave myself time for a book 4 by cramming book 2 into November.  And of course it will be fun to watch the NaNoWriMo communities progress.  You can keep up with my progress and learn about Killian and Moira and their hunt for the long lost Library of Alexandria on Facebook and Instagram.

But Speaking of Christmas

If you’ve got a hankering for a Christmas mystery rom-com check out Winter Wonderland!

ORDER (all retailers):

WINTER WONDERLAND: When Marcus Winters, a photographer with a bah humbug take on the holidays, meets Larissa Frost, a set designer who loves all things Christmas, sparks are destined to fly. But when a famous diamond goes missing from the shoot they’re working on Larissa finds that Marcus may be the only one who can keep her from being framed for a crime she didn’t commit.



Bethany Maines is the award-winning author of action-adventure and fantasy tales that focus on women who know when to apply lipstick and when to apply a foot to someone’s hind end. She can usually be found chasing after her daughter, or glued to the computer working on her next novel (or screenplay).  You can also catch up with her on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and BookBub.